Karan Johar surrogacy: The spotlight will now perennially be on this 'unsuitable boy'
Very few like Karan Johar can make handling a life altering decision look as calm as changing a dress.
The multifaceted filmmaker, who besides producing movies, hosting TV shows and being a celebrity guest on reality television, has joined the likes of Ricky Martin, Cristiano Ronaldo, and closer home Tusshar Kapoor, in becoming a proud single father via surrogacy.
Johar had written about his desire to father children in his recently released autobiography, ‘An Unsuitable Boy’ and in the announcement he made following the birth of his twins, he mentions that this is a well thought out decision “taken after considering all the responsibilities and the duties that come with being a parent.”
Johar’s status went from being ‘an unsuitable boy’ to being a beaming single parent in a matter of weeks. But for someone who can handle multiple roles, and juggle many things at the same time, ‘daddyhood’, with a little help from his supportive mother, Hiroo, might just be right up his ally.
Years ago when Sushmita Sen, at 25-years of age, chose to be a single parent, her decision, too, was seen in a different light largely because of her celebrity status.
Earlier last year, Tusshar Kapoor also became a single father to a baby boy, Laksshya, using surrogacy. Kapoor welcomed surrogacy as an option for many who chose to be single parents. He joined a growing list of Bollywood celebrities like Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao, Shah Rukh and Gauri Khan, who not only opted for surrogacy but also made no qualms about letting the world know.
Unlike Aamir and Shah Rukh Khan or even Tusshar Kapoor, the spotlight on Karan Johar will be far more intense.
Considering the times we live in, this development would be celebrated and questioned, welcomed and ignored with equal gusto. Irrespective of how this decision was taken by a public persona, in the end, everybody should consider that this is a personal matter and leave it at that.
But with someone like Johar under the spotlight, the discussion would ensue for a little longer. While the voices commenting on this development could range from Johar somewhere not being fit enough to be a parent or how-sad-that-the-children-might-not-have-a-regular-mother to it being hailed as a great achievement, the real reason for the clamor might be something else.
The fact that willingly or otherwise Johar is an ambassador, and dare I say, a role model for many things, his decision to become a single parent will have some sway over how the subject is viewed.
Johar’s choice could even redefine how men being single parents would be seen in the times to come.
Johar’s openness in announcing to the world about the birth of his twins, Yash (named after his late father, Yash Johar) and Roohi (a rearrangement of mother’s name, Hiroo) is a great departure from the secrecy that otherwise shrouds such a private decision. His statement also states how he is aware of the responsibilities that come with parenthood and is more than ready to make some changes in his life to take on the role of being a parent.
Unlike Johar's anguish on constantly being asked about his sexuality, something that he discusses in great detail in his autobiography, his openness about this new phase of his life should be enough to keep paparazzi, et al at bay on that score.
In the late 1980s, when Neena Gupta gave birth to her daughter, Masaba, Pritish Nandy hounded her to know the name of the baby girl’s father and even published a xerox of her child’s birth certificate that clearly mentioned the name of cricketer Viv Richards as the father in his magazine.
Many of his contemporaries still consider what he did to be sacrilegious and in some ways, Nandy’s act fanned a certain kind of journalism in India that refused to understand the private life of celebrities. As a decision, both the desire to father children through surrogacy and the subsequent announcement about their birth is, simply put, Johar’s own and ought not to be anyone else’s concern.